Category: Education

A traditional Ugandan healer holds a referral card, developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to give to villagers suspected of having plague. The card directs them to a local clinic that uses antibiotics, rather than prayer and herbs, to treat the symptoms of plague.

Centuries after the Black Death, Plague Still Kills

ARUA, Uganda — Isaac Baniyo stumbled through his final exam in English last November as a pounding headache and chest pain made it difficult to focus. The teenager’s parents sent him on foot to a drug shop not far from their grass-roofed hut in the

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America’s “Give While You Live” Philanthropist

“I can testify that it is nearly always easier to make $1,000,000 honestly than it is to dispose of it wisely.” Julius Rosenwald, 1929 Listen to a National Public Radio broadcast and chances are you’ll hear programs supported by the Ford Foundation or Carnegie Corporation

Nursery school teacher playing with toddlers.

Education in Cuba

For the past few months, I’ve been given unlimited access to photograph the Cuban education system. I started with nursery schools and slowly worked my way to graduate study. With my pictures, I’ve tried to show both the diversity and the complexity of the school

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The Third Grade Answer

During a recent visit to a maximum security prison in Virginia, where some 2,000 men are caged, I asked the warden to describe his most troublesome problem. I expected the usual answer – shivs, drugs, rapes, cellblock violence. Sure, he replied, all that is here.

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The Genius of One Caring Teacher

Watching the children of Garrison Elementary School enter their cafeteria at lunchtime, it’s no task to identify the students of Mark Lewis. They’re the ones carrying books. Biographies. Short stories. Essays. Poetry. The cafeteria noise and chatter isn’t enough to keep them from reading a

Southern Schools Strain Under Immigrant Arrivals

Luis sits at a computer working with a program designed to teach him English. He is warm and accepting, still trusting despite what he has seen. But when the 11-year-old recalls his journey from Guanajuato, Mexico to Morganton, North Carolina, his round face darkens and

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Mentors Can Mean Magic

Chicago-born and raised, which means a boyhood and then adulthood of rooting for the Cubs, Judge Gregory Mize includes in his celebration of baseball the annual luncheon of the Emil Verban Memorial Society. Last April, some 200 rememberers of Verban gathered at the Capital Hilton

Darryll Vann is in a shrinking minority group--African-American men who teach youngsters. Only 11 percent of elementary school teachers are male and a much smaller percentage of them are African-American. Photo by David Snider

True Heroes

Of the 27 faculty members teaching 549 minority students at Garrison Elementary School in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C., two are black males. Darryll Vann has 26 boys and girls in his kindergarten class, Hassan Abdullah 21 in his first grade class. Darryll Vann

A schoolgirl photograph of Shirley Ann Davidson at age 15, in 1967.

Integration’s Victims: When Virginia Slammed the School Doors Shut

Six-year-old Shirley Ann Davidson had looked forward to starting school for a long time. Her mother had prepared her well, giving her the basics of arithmetic and reading from a Dick-and-Jane book to teach her the alphabet. During the summer before Shirley was scheduled to

The plaque at the old high school in Summerton, S.C. states, with no irony, "Together Let us Sweetly Live."

Education’s Cast-Offs: How Whites Avoid Integration and Leave Blacks Adrift

SUMMERTON, South Carolina – The orange-and-blue cover on the yearbook at Scott’s Branch High School here proclaims this sleepy Southern town as “the birth place of equal education,” but a look inside the town’s gleaming new $8 million school building belies that promise. Scott’s Branch,

Lakesha Smith, left, and Annette Conley prepare to lead the Class of 1996 into the graduation ceremony at Rosa Fort High School. Conley was the class valedictorian and plans to attend Howard University in Washington this fall. Smith graduated an honor student and will attend Rust College, the oldest black college in Mississippi.

Mississippi Misery: Residents Can’t Cash in if They Can’t Read

TUNICA, Miss. – Graduation at Rosa Fort High School here is one of the biggest social occasions of the year. It is usually held on the last Sunday in May, and this year, the Class of ’96 went forth at precisely 5 p.m., marching two-by-two

Betty Jo Dulaney has been running the Tunica County Literacy Center since 1985.

Gamblers’ Needs Focus a Town on its Reading Failures

TUNICA, MS. – A teacher stands before a blackboard in an otherwise barren room. Eleven faces stare back passively. Most are in their twenties, a few in their forties. They are newly hired cashiers at the Sheraton Casino. On Monday, they start work. They are

Winston Morin drops off his charges after the morning bus run. Transportation is a major expense for Fort Belknap's Head Start program.

Indian Head Start: Restoring a Culture

HARLEM, Montana – Winston Morin pulls the Head Start bus up to a pink quonset-hut classroom at the Fort Belknap Agency and joshes with teacher Barbara Long Knife as she climbs aboard for the late-morning ride. The two-way radio hanging above Morin’s left hand crackles

Boggan found that exercising his right to a jury tial resulted in years more imprisonment than most of his fellow inmates who committed crimes where victims were injured or killed. He is scheduled to remain in Illinois prisons until 2025. Photo by John Sundlof

Using Your Rights Means Extra Years in Prison

Vincent Boggan is among the few inmates in the Pontiac Correctional Center–a maximum-security prison in Pontiac, Illinois–who avail themselves of the free classes offered. He has already earned an “Associate of Applied Science”–a vocational degree–and now is working on an “Associate in General Studies”–a college-level

A metal detector is used in Mather High School in Chicago to find weapons that students carry. © 1993, John Sundlof, all right reserved.

Jailing Juveniles

A spirit of optimism about children created the nation’s first juvenile court, in Cook County, Illinois, in 1899. Kids who got in trouble were still kids, the prevailing thinking went, and the focus ought to be on reforming instead of punishing them. A metal detector

Eric Johnson at home in Wise, North Carolina

Opportunity’s Dance with One North Carolina Family

It was 1968. Arnetra Johnson, a black woman raising four bright-eyed babies alone in a rural North Carolina trailer park, was holding fast to the dream just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had laid it out: black boys and white boys sitting side by

ABC graduate Curtis Spence (center) sits surrounded by ABC and Prep for Prep students. Spence is now associate director of admissions for the Hotchkiss School. Photo by Charlise Lyles.

Help for Strangers in a Strange Land

In an upcoming NBC television movie, a black youth from Harlem graduates from Phillips Exeter Academy with honors. Three weeks later, he is shot to death by an undercover police officer who alleges the young man tried to rob him. The film is based loosely

Students and tutors at the Ridgefield ABC house included, (left to right) Debby Lashley, Simone Page-Janello, Ana Negron (seated), Steve Blumenthal, Karen Schwamb (standing), a former tutor, Carlina Santos (seated), Shauna Daniel. Photo courtesy of The Ridgefield Press.

Importing Girls to Integrate a Connecticut Public School

Ridgefield, CT-The cute Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx perched atop her bunk bed in a boarding house and pondered her ambivalence toward this affluent, mostly white town where she attends school. Ana Negron, 17, delighted in the academically challenging school. She adored the local

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Tempting the Medicine Freaks

The standardized multiple-choice examinations of the Educational Testing Service have been fixtures in American society for so long that we tend to take them for granted. When ETS refers to such tests as “objective,” we seldom stop to think that the term can apply only